Phoinix, the free Gameboy emulator for PalmOS

by Bodo Wenzel
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Phoinix in greek font.

On this page: - Overview - Warning - Downloads - Languages - Links - Credits



A nice user gave me a better URL for the mystic bird. Thank you! It took quite some time to update this page...


Phoinix ['foiniks] is the greek word for date palm. It is also the name for the mystic bird which burns itself after 500 years and is reborn out of its ashes.

In this context Phoinix is the name of a Nintendo GameboyTM emulator for the Palm Computing® Platform. It was formerly known as PalmBoy (this link might be broken), but Palm Inc. claims the word "Palm" as a trademark.


  • Palm Computing® Platform (original or clone), what else.
  • Palm OS version 3.0 or greater. Sorry, I spent some time to get it run on OS version 2 but there are too many limitations!
  • Files of Gameboy games. Please note that you have to own the commercial games you like to play!

This emulator is now kind of mature. I don't think that there will be any great development leaps coming, although some enhancements or corrections might be done.

Copyleft of the program
Copyright (c) 2000-2008 by Bodo Wenzel.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
Copyleft of the documentation
Copyright (c) 2001-2012 Bodo Wenzel.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.


To get the emulation as fast as possible nearly no checks are made and the memory protection had to be switched off. This leads to a potentially very dangerous program - every single byte of your handheld's databases and programs in RAM can be overwritten! It's a very good idea to backup your databases before trying the emulator with new games until you gain confidence in the combination of emulator and emulated game.


You have access to all versions via the project summary page. If translated versions are older than the English or German versions, no translator made the update :-( You're welcome to jump in, see below!

Link Size, approx. Version Description 622 KB v.1.4.2 This is your starter pack, containing the English emulator, the first collection of free games, and the documentation without the playability datasheets. 47 KB v.1.4.2 Just the emulator, an English version with a minimal user interface. Use this if you run low on memory. 55 KB v.1.4.2 Just the emulator, English (Great Britain) version. 58 KB v.1.4.2 Just the emulator, German (Germany) version. 42 KB v.1.2.2 Just the emulator, Portuguese (Brazil) version. 43 KB v.1.2.2 Just the emulator, Italian (Italy) version. 43 KB v.1.2.2 Just the emulator, French (Canada) version. Canadians speaking English might like to download another version ;-) 56 KB v.1.4.2 Just the emulator, Spanish (U.S.A.) version. 42 KB v.1.2.2 Just the emulator, Spanish (Bolivia) version. 43 KB v.1.2.2 Just the emulator, Japanese (Japan) version. 45 KB v.1.2.2 Just the emulator, Greek (Greece) version. You have to install PiLoc from Paragon Software (SHDD) to use it. 44 KB v.1.2.2 Just the emulator, Dutch (Netherlands) version. 630 KB   Archive with documentation (files of this site), not always up-to-date. 119 KB   Archive with readily converted free games, part 1: Free Ants, Mines, PuzzleX, Sokoban, SQRXZ, TetraBlox, Starfisher, Starfight. 87 KB   Archive with readily converted free games, part 2: Alien Planet, Brikster, Columns, Fall Down, Maze, Mazezam, Mineshweepe, Poke Mission 97, Slippy, Wonderworm. 122 KB   Archive with the converter and other tools.
Project summary.     The project summary page, where all other files of this project are accessible. The "experimental" package contains old and current test and beta versions.


Time after time some user asks whether s/he could help with translation into other languages, and you might be one. To help you I'm maintaining the archive "Translating Phoinix" (some ten KB). It should contain enough information to put you in the position to work, without being a programmer.

If you like to contribute a translation, fetch that archive, read the text, and then contact me. I can't emphasize this enough: PLEASE CONTACT ME BEFORE YOU START A TRANSLATION!


If you find any links broken, please drop me a note. At best you have the correct link at hand!

Please use the links to on-line shops to choose some cookies. They will keep me working on this project ;-)

Some of my other computer interests are shown on my general homepage. You'll find software and hardware designs for different systems, old and new, rarely updated ;-)

You would like to visit Till's page of tools for Phoinix' precursor, PalmBoy. Probably some of them are useful for Phoinix, too.

Another great emulator is Liberty. Some games run better on Liberty, others better on Phoinix. Mike Ethetton, one of its authors, has written a nice page about emulation on PalmOS PDAs.

Brian Krohn started a group at Yahoo which talks about emulation on PalmOS PDAs in general.

I recommend using X-Master for the Hacks.

For applying IPS patches, try "JIPS" at, it's a Java application.

Here used to be a list of sites to visit for free Gameboy ROMs. Unfortunately they often come and go, and I don't have the time to keep the list up-to-date. Please ask your favourite web search engine. Don't ask me about commercial ROMs - it is futile!


First of all I have to thank Till Harbaum. Being one of my best friends, it's always a pleasure to discuss PalmOS problems - and not only those. Please visit his pages!

SourceForge is a free hosting service for Open Source developers which offers, among other things, a CVS repository, mailing lists, bug tracking, message forums, task management software, web site hosting, permanent file archival, full backups, and total web-based administration.

I have to thank Jeff Frohwein for collecting all sorts of software and documentation for the passioned Gameboy developer and giving it to the community. You'll find it at

The fine man who spent all his time for checking the playability of games is HJ.


  • The English (Great Britain) translation was smoothed by HJ.
  • The Portuguese (Brazil) translation was made by Pender666.
  • The Italian (Italy) translation was made by Andrea Butti.
  • The French (Canada) translation was made by Marc Collin.
  • The Spanish (U.S.A.) translation was made by Alex Henrie.
  • The Spanish (Bolivia) translation was made by Raul Rea.
  • The Japanese (Japan) translation was made by Yukihiro Sugimura.
  • The Greek (Greece) translation was made by Panagiotis Maraveas.
  • The Dutch (Netherlands) translation was made by Stan Broné.

The nice guy who made the cool morphing icon is Hendrik Lüttke.

Mac users should thank Julian Hsiao for compiling the converter for the MacOS upto version 9. The executable for MacOS X was done by Ben Sanford.

The Phoinix ROM Converter for Windows is a Visual BASIC .NET application by Alex Henrie. You'll need the .NET Framework for it to run, which might be on your system already.

The Mac OS X converter frontend was made by David Williams.

The Tcl/Tk graphical frontend for the converter "gb2pdb" was written by Paul Chandler.

Aaron Link wrote the Phoinix RAM Save Converter to convert saved cartridge RAMs.

Although it's long ago, but now that the CRCs are exposed to users I have to mention "Starfire" who collected hundreds of CRCs. Thank you very much!

While developing Rana I ran into problems with the GNU debugger. Ton van Overbeek helped me a lot, without him I could not have finished this tool!

"Palm" is a registered trademark of Palm, Inc.

"Gameboy" is a registered trademark of Nintendo.

"Java" is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems.

"Windows" is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.